Isn’t it amazing?!?!?

Rumored portrait of the 45th President of the United States

President Obama has gotten religion!

Well, eh…no, I guess I can’t say that. I mean, after all, he was going to Jeremiah Wright’s ‘church’ for the 20+ years preceding his ascendency to the throne, er…Presidency. Let’s just call a…shovel a shovel, shall we? He is now a fiscal moderate.

In the patois of DC, this means he wants to lower the rate of increase of spending and raise taxes only a moderate amount. I didn’t think he was a drug addict anymore. We, as a country, are out of money and Barry wants to spend more money?!?!?!?

The man who needs a teleprompter to know when it is time to eat, is telling us that we need to “eat our peas”???

This is the greatest change of direction since Barry Sanders ran with the rock up in Motown. Not to mention the chutzpah it took to tell that big of a lie in front of over 300 million people.

What bugs me when I hear this isn’t the change of direction though. It is that the POTUS’s minions even think that it would be believed by a critical mass of the electorate.

Actually it bothers me that any American citizen would fall for such a transparently partisan act. One might say that it is a symptom of a far greater problem…that of a country that would freely elect the likes of Barack Obama.

Am I the Only One?

This is how many people feel.

No, I know that I am NOT the only one who knows that this ‘recession’ is not over. But I am wondering just how many other people understand. This morning I sent an email to a very close and dear friend who is awakening to the true carnage happening in the economy. The email linked three (3) diverse articles…one on employment, one on real estate, and one on banking. Maybe you saw them too:

Bank Fails Slow, Backlog Looms
Not just banks foreclose, the neighbors do too
US jobs creation stalls in June

This person is very bright. Not just book smart but quick, if you know what I mean. They couldn’t believe the data contained in them. They simply asked a question that many of us have been asking for some time now…”How can the politicians and bureaucrats have been saying for almost two years now that we are out of a recession and things are actually getting better?”

I didn’t have an answer.

So I am wondering…do you?

EL Bobbo is back!

Where's Bobbo?!?!?....I wish! Just FYI, if this WERE a real depiction, the brunette and I would be in each other's seat.

Sorry for the absence. Many people have inquired about the sudden cessation of activity. Any rumors that I was jailed while in a certain banana republic are completely false. As are the ones of me backpacking in Iran. However, those of me accompanying Seal Team Six, well, even though they are false, let’s just keep them going, shall we?

Actually, what happened is a combination of events. Work and life just got to be way too needy for my time. On top of that, I truly felt that I had said (written) enough about what was going on and about to happen. It seemed that I was just stuck in a “Groundhog Day” loop and figured everyone else was becoming as bored as I was.

Now we are back because I think things are about to get incredibly worse. We are at the trail’s end, or very close, and standing at a magnificent crevasse. My good friend, Dr. Housing Bubble, has just written a fantastic critique on why prices must plunge.

This is much longer than I presumed for my first post back. Guess that means I have fresh new issues to write about again. As always, I hope that you find this cyber space illuminating and useful.

Also, please let me know what you think.

Distressed Homes and Layoffs

Inquiring minds are looking at the data for distressed housing and the way people are being laid off now which makes us wonder how home prices are not going to decline much more in The OC.

In California, the discounted percentage difference between average sales price of foreclosure sales vs. average sales price of non-foreclosure sales is 39%. This is much higher than the national average of 28% and ranks California as 3rd nationally. Further, this broke down to 46% for bank-owned properties to 29% for homes sold before lenders seized a property, aka short sales.

Remember that these numbers are the foundation of the market going into 2011 where we are beginning to see layoffs and large budget cuts in local and, eventually, state governments. This will only exacerbate the housing crisis across the all of California.

However, these dry housing statistics mean nothing to what hears of how United Healthcare laid off their Orange County, CA employees on Thursday…

Things stated off regularly as people reported to work as usual and they started in on their schedules. Supervisors came around and told everybody to get on the buses parked outside because they were going somewhere offsite for an important meeting. When they got to the remote location, a speaker came on to tell them their service was no longer needed and they were now laid off.

What effeciency! This explains so much of their insurance claims process, doesn’t it?

Unfortunately, this is vivid proof that housing prices are not only NOT rebounding but are not even stable. We are going to see large declines in the upper scale areas. Orange and San Diego Counties for sure. Look for it to be a double-edged sword as buyers become more scarce just as housing prices decline. Bubbles don’t burst while buyers are still in the market which is what analysts were attempting to convince the public of two years ago. Having many active buyers still in the market just means the bubble was not allowed to fully deflate and is still a bubble.

Hold on because you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Politically, 2011 looks to be even more crazy then 1968. And is still predicting that the state of California will end up with an apocalyptic 17% rate of foreclosure when everything is said and done. It is what the data shows.

To put this into prespective, the worst foreclosure rate in state history prior to this downturn was in the early 90’s when it was 6%. We are talking almost three times the rate.

Spain Sets All-Time Record

Inquiring minds are upon the Iberian Penninsula where the Spanish have just set a record:

Unemployment in Spain has reached a new all-time record in February with an increase of 68,260 compared to January, bringing the total number to 4.3 million, the worst figure since 1996 when unemployment statistics began. Compared to last year, unemployment has increased by 168,838 (+4.08%), according to figures revealed today by the Labour and Immigration Ministry. The number of jobless increased in all sectors in February, including services (+1.6%), industry (+0.71%), construction (+0.34%) and agriculture (+6.67%).

Wasn’t Spain supposed to be the cradle of Green Technology and a hotbed of ‘green’ jobs?


Providence…The Shape of Things to Come?

Teachers should be well acquainted with the "Free Lunch" program.

Inquiring minds are looking at what transpired in Providence late last week where the school district decided to send out dismissal notices to every one of its 1,926 teachers, an unprecedented move that has union leaders up in arms.

Supt. Tom Brady wrote that the Providence School Board on Thursday will vote on a resolution to dismiss every teacher:

In an e-mail sent to all teachers and School Department staff, Brady said, “We are forced to take this precautionary action by the March 1 deadline given the dire budget outline for the 2011-2012 school year in which we are projecting a near $40 million deficit for the district,” Brady wrote. “Since the full extent of the potential cuts to the school budget have yet to be determined, issuing a dismissal letter to all teachers was necessary to give the mayor, the School Board and the district maximum flexibility to consider every cost savings option, including reductions in staff.” State law requires that teachers be notified about potential changes to their employment status by March 1.

“To be clear about what this means,” Brady wrote, “this action gives the School Board the right to dismiss teachers as necessary, but not all teachers will actually be dismissed at the end of the school year.”

And, to no surprise, the union representative reacted like a small child:

“This is beyond insane,” Providence Teachers Union President Steve Smith said Tuesday night. “Let’s create the most chaos and the highest level of anxiety in a district where teachers are already under unbelievable stress. Now I know how the United States State Department felt on Dec. 7 , 1941.” That was the day the Japanese government bombed Pearl Harbor.

It never ceases to amaze how the unions have gotten everything they have wanted…and now that people realize there is no way to afford this fabulous party, then the union representatives always fall back to…”I am shocked to find gambling at this establishment!”

Think about this for just a moment…Providence’s school district is $40 million in the red! Everyone knows about the $14 Trillion national debt but that is only the surface.

Please see ““It” Is Scarier Than Anything Stephen King Has Ever Written

What many don’t seem to realize is that debt is pandemic across our entire country. State governments are writhing in a death dance, local governments are squealing to the Feds that they need money. School districts are underwater. Corporations and private citizens are in debt up to their necks.

To put it into one generalizing sentence: No one has any money anymore.

That is why this next year is going to be a historic year as the people of this country regain control of it. The Left doesn’t understand, even now, what they are fighting. But by the end of this year, they will.

And what happened at the schoolboard meeting?

Well, Toto, we aren’t in the 90’s anymore…

After two hours of contentious discussion, the School Board voted 4 to 3 Thursday night to send out termination notices to each of the city’s 1,926 public school teachers.

More than 700 teachers jammed a high school gymnasium to tell school officials that their hearts were broken, their trust violated and their futures as teachers jeopardized.

“How do we feel? Disrespected,” said Julie Latessa, a special-needs teacher, before the vote. “We are broken. How do you repair the damage you have done today?”

What is with teachers? The first thing they bring up is they ‘feel disrespected’. Look at these other quotes from teacher attendees:

“This is a quasi-legal power grab,” said Richard Larkin, a teacher at Classical High School. “You want to pick and choose teachers. Well, we will not be bullied.”

“I’m feeling disrespected, devalued and marginalized,” said Ed Gorden. “Termination is a career-ender. You are putting a scarlet letter on every one of us.”

Maybe since you don’t feel fulfilled in your current occupation it is time that you seek another organization to succeed in.

San Francisco: Low-flow Toilets BIG Disappointment

That tag-line could become the new city motto.

Inquiring minds are seeing a pattern develop in the Green’ technology sector…the savings of the new ‘breakthrough’ technology never seem to be as great as advertised, nor are they as good for the enviornment as billed. A case in point is San Francisco’s low-flow toilets:

San Francisco’s big push for low-flow toilets has turned into a multimillion-dollar plumbing stink.

Skimping on toilet water has resulted in more sludge backing up inside the sewer pipes, said Tyrone Jue, spokesman for the city Public Utilities Commission. That has created a rotten-egg stench near AT&T Park and elsewhere, especially during the dry summer months.

The city has already spent $100 million over the past five years to upgrade its sewer system and sewage plants, in part to combat the odor problem.

Now officials are stocking up on a $14 million, three-year supply of highly concentrated sodium hypochlorite – better known as bleach – to act as an odor eater and to disinfect the city’s treated water before it’s dumped into the bay. It will also be used to sanitize drinking water.

For those keeping score, that 8.5 million pounds of bleach being poured down city drains or into the drinking water supply every year.

Remember, the next time you’re in San Francisco, have a wonderful time…just don’t drink the water!

A tip of the hat to Louie

Fears Mount in UK with Huge Supply of For-Sale Homes

Somethings gotta give as homes begin piling up and approval of mortgages are a trickle.

Inquiring minds are looking at new real estate numbers coming out of the Britain and it is not any prettier there than here. It’s because the numbers released today show that the number of properties for sale is more than double the number of mortgages being approved:

The latest housing survey from property website Rightmove suggested there were 1.3 million properties for sale, but just 530,000 mortgages approved last year. It blamed the gap between supply and demand on a lack of affordable mortgage and concerns about the economic outlook among buyers. It suggested that some buyers who were unable to sell have taken their property off the market until it begins to pick up.

Miles Shipside, of Rightmove, said: “Not all properties marketed have to sell or stay on the market, with a percentage being withdrawn if they fail to find a buyer. “There is still a clear imbalance between supply left on the market and demand even taking this into account. Demand is restricted by mortgage availability and potential buyers economic circumstances.”

However, sellers are refusing to lower their asking prices, boosting them by 3.1 per cent this month to an average of £230,000, according to survey. Mr Shipside explained: “The number of forced sellers and repossessions are the key factor that drives down prices, and to date lenders have shown considerable forbearance in how they manage arrears and are wary of flooding some markets by putting lots of repossessions up for sale.”

Don’t you just love that first sentence of the last parapgraph…”sellers are refusing to lower their asking prices”. How quaint. In about 6 months we will see if sellers will have changed their collective attitude?

MERS Finally Wins One…And of Course its California

Inquiring minds are on California where once again, you guessed it, The (Formerly) Golden State takes a left turn past the outfield and is now standing outside the stadium (once again). It is sad watching what was once an incredibe state implode under its Leftist/Progressive/Socialist agenda. It appears to have now affected anyone in any leadership role within the borders of the state. A San Diego judge has just ruled that MERS Corp can foreclose on homes in California!

Merscorp, operator of the electronic-registration system that contains about half of all U.S. home mortgages, has the right to foreclose on defaulted borrowers in California, a state appeals court ruled.

U.S. courts have differed in recent years on whether Merscorp’s Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, or MERS, unit has the right to bring a foreclosure action.

“Under California law MERS may initiate a foreclosure as the nominee, or agent, of the noteholder,” California Court of Appeal Justice Joan K. Irion in San Diego wrote in a Feb. 18 ruling.

MERS was on quite a losing streak recently:

The F-Bomb
Man vs. Bank
Follow-up to Utah’s “Man vs. Bank”
“MERS Corp Lacks Right”, Says Judge

If there is a wrong answer somewhere in the world…then the state of California will find it. Just let the state implode. It will be easier to pick up the pieces then.

Downturn at End of 2010 Was Biggest Drop in GDP in 2 Years

Could massive riots be in the UK's near future?

Inquiring minds are gazing across the pond at our cousin’s, the Brits, who surprised the economists. It is being reported that the economic downturn in the last quarter last year where the GDP shrank by 0.6%, was the largest GDP fall in two years:

The downturn – the biggest GDP fall since the second quarter in 2009 – was a surprise to economists who had expected the original estimates to be revised upwards.

Despite the ‘disappointing’ figures, which ended 12 months of economic growth, the Treasury remains defiant.

A spokesman for the department insisted: ‘The Chancellor said that the fourth quarter growth figures were disappointing and today’s revision doesn’t change that fact.

‘It also doesn’t change the need to deal with the nation’s credit card – the country is borrowing more this year than is spent on the entire NHS.’

Notice what they compare the increase in borrowing to? Their version of Obamacare! You can just see how socialized healthcare saves money, can’t you? Remember that the NHS (of Britain) is the third largest employer in the world…following only the Army of The People’s Republic of China and the Railroad of India.

By reading father down the column, the reader is met with even more negative economic data:

– business investment was down 2.5% to £29.6 billion.
– manufacturing sector although up an anemic 1.1% was revised down from growth of 1.4%.
– construction (which boosted growth in the second and third quarter of 2010) output dropped 2.5% in the fourth quarter.
– Household spending also declined by 0.1% in the last quarter.

This spring and summer should produce some interesting organized events throughout Europe.